Long-lasting dengue prevention method gets go-ahead in Sri Lanka

February 8, 2018, Monash University

A self-sustaining program that helps provide long-term protection for communities from dengue has been given the official go ahead in Sri Lanka today.

Monash University's World Mosquito Program (WMP) is set to be rolled out in Sri Lanka following the signing of a Collaboration Agreement (CA) by Sri Lanka's Secretary, Ministry of Health (MoH), Janaka Sugathadasa at a ceremony in Colombo with Australian High Commissioner Bryce Hutchesson.

The agreement advances the partnership between Sri Lanka and the WMP in tackling the threat of mosquito borne-viruses such as dengue in Sri Lanka.

It comes after Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's announcement last year of the partnership and funding commitment to help establish the WMP in Sri Lanka.

With support from the Australian Government's innovationXchange, WMP will use its ground-breaking research to trial the introduction of naturally occurring Wolbachia bacteria to Sri Lankan mosquito populations.

Wolbachia prevents dengue from being transmitted between people and also has the ability to block other mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika and chikungunya.

WMP Program Director Professor Scott O'Neill said the agreement was an important step in establishing the program in Sri Lanka.

"We are extremely pleased to be working with the National Dengue Control Unit, Ministry of Health, in seeking a long-term solution to the dengue burden in Sri Lanka. We look forward to rolling out the program to local communities in the Colombo area," he said.

"Mosquito-borne viruses pose a global health threat for a number of reasons and our program provides an affordable solution to improving health security in the region."

The program will be established across three sites in the Colombo area over the next 12 months, with the first mosquito releases to take place next year.

It's hoped the program will expand its Wolbachia method to further sites in Sri Lanka in the future working in collaboration with local partners and subject to approval from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health.

Since 2011, WMP has been conducting field trials using the Wolbachia method. Long term monitoring has shown that when a high proportion of mosquitoes in an area carry Wolbachia, local transmission of the disease has stopped. Sri Lanka is the tenth country to become part of the , joining Brazil, Colombia, Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Fiji, Vanuatu and Kiribati.

Explore further: Australia helps Sri Lanka as dengue toll hits 250

Related Stories

Australia helps Sri Lanka as dengue toll hits 250

July 19, 2017
Australia will join Sri Lanka in its war on dengue fever, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Wednesday, as the virus has claimed a record 250 lives and infected nearly 100,000 people in the South Asian country this year.

Mosquitoes infected with virus-suppressing bacteria could help control dengue fever

May 30, 2017
Mosquitos infected with the bacteria Wolbachia are significantly worse vectors for dengue virus, but how to establish and spread Wolbachia in an urban mosquito population is unclear. A study publishing on 30th May 2017 in ...

WHO declares Sri Lanka free of malaria (Update)

September 5, 2016
The World Health Organization has certified Sri Lanka free of malaria, the second country in the region to earn the distinction after the Maldives, the health ministry said Tuesday.

Virus-resistant mosquitoes to be unleashed in Colombia, Brazil

October 26, 2016
Governments and philanthropists on Wednesday announced an $18 million plan to release mosquitoes resistant to Zika, dengue and other viruses in urban areas of Colombia and Brazil.

Bacteria block transmission of Zika and Dengue viruses

January 26, 2018
Scientists at the University of Glasgow's MRC Centre for Virus Researchopens (CVR) have found a bacterial strain which blocks dengue and Zika virus transmission from mosquitoes.

Hospitals overwhelmed as Sri Lanka dengue toll nears 300

July 24, 2017
Sri Lanka announced Monday it was intensifying its war on dengue fever, with schools to shut across the island to help curb the unprecedented outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus that has claimed nearly 300 lives.

Recommended for you

Past encounters with the flu shape vaccine response

February 20, 2018
New research on why the influenza vaccine was only modestly effective in recent years shows that immune history with the flu influences a person's response to the vaccine.

Building better tiny kidneys to test drugs and help people avoid dialysis

February 16, 2018
A free online kidney atlas built by USC researchers empowers stem cell scientists everywhere to generate more human-like tiny kidneys for testing new drugs and creating renal replacement therapies.

Study suggests expanded range for emerging tick-borne disease

February 16, 2018
Human cases of Borrelia miyamotoi, a tick-borne infection with some similarities to Lyme disease, were discovered in the eastern United States less than a decade ago. Now new research led by the Yale School of Public Health ...

Expanding Hepatitis C testing to all adults is cost-effective and improves outcomes

February 16, 2018
According to a new study, screening all adults for hepatitis C (HCV) is a cost-effective way to improve clinical outcomes of HCV and identify more infected people compared to current recommendations. Using a simulation model, ...

Flu shot only 36 percent effective, making bad year worse (Update)

February 15, 2018
The flu vaccine is doing a poor job protecting older Americans and others against the bug that's causing most illnesses.

IFN-mediated immunity to influenza A virus infection influenced by RIPK3 protein

February 15, 2018
Each year, influenza kills half a million people globally with the elderly and very young most often the victims. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 37 children have died in the United States ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.